Walking in to Ben Nevis this morning was a real test of determination. Heavy rain, strong wind and lots of water flowing down the Allt a'Mhuilinn made a few teams turn back. Those more used to ice climbing in the rain went up to Coire na Ciste and were rewarded with soggy but fun climbing. The forecast was spot on - the wind and temperature dropped sharply. Rain on the summit turned to snow falling down to 500m in a couple of hours and the thaw last night did not take away much of the ice that was there on Wednesday.
Rintje and I climbed a variation on Number Three Gully Buttress with some really nice ice and an exposed exit at the top. Lou and Jo climbed Green Gully, Dave and Mark climbed Comb Gully and Richard and Stuart climbed Wendigo and Central Gully on Creag Coire na Ciste. There is lots of ice on Two Step Corner and The Cascade, Point Five Gully, Hadrian's Wall Direct, Smith's Route and Italian Right Hand. Mega Route X has a good coating of ice and The Shroud is forming nicely. There is a lot of water flowing through the snow and down the crags so in the colder weather forecast over the weekend and into next week the ice climbing could be good.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.